Nutrition Seminar by Garett Renon

In case you missed it here are my notes from last Saturday’s nutrition talk.

The purpose of this talk is to help you change your relationship with FOOD.

My journey down the nutrition rabbit-hole began about 4-years ago. While this may sound selfish my motivation was to find the foods that would allow me to be able to perform my best, look my best, and feel as good as possible. No ulterior motivates, no emotions, just results!!! My mission is to be able to reach my full-human athletic potential and be as healthy as possible.

Why is food important? Up to 80% of our body composition is determine by the food we eat. This means you can’t out work a bad diet. Do you work out all the time but can’t seem to lose those last 15-lbs? Healthy food is also nature’s medicine.

What is Primal/Paleo? – The mocked answer is to “eat like a caveman”. But the reality is that the human body has evolved over millions of years and most of those years we have lived in hunter/gather societies. This means, our ancestors ate only what they could hunt and gather. Remember “heart healthy” cheerios don’t grow wild. Please don’t believe the argument that Cavemen lived horrible lives and they didn’t live past 30. That is false but that is another topic.

We are no longer cavemen – True and I am glad. I am not anti-technology (well at least until the machines become self -aware and try to take over) or evenanti-new food (supplements) but we need to beware of what is healthy and what is unhealthy and looking to our ancestral past gives us great insight.

Americans, even the entire world, but especially Americans have never been fatter, or sicker. Diabetes and heart disease are now common. Childhood obesity is nearly an epidemic and children now are becoming diabetic before they even become teenagers so obviously we are doing something wrong.

Jared Diamond “He might illustrate the results of his digs by a 24-hour clock on which one hour represents 100,000 years of real past time. If the history of the human race began at midnight, then we would now be almost at the end of our first day. We lived as hunter-gatherers for nearly the whole of that day, from midnight through dawn, noon, and sunset. Finally, at 11:54 p. m. we adopted agriculture”

My personal successes from a Primal diet:

  • More energy – much more aware of my surrounding, no more food coma
  • No more allergies – I had horrible allergies for my entire life!
  • Never get sick – Removing wheat/grains from your diet also reduces the amount of inflammation in your body.
  • No more be hangry (hungry + angry) – Now if I miss a meal I know longer get irritable, shaky, and light headed.
  • Reduced bodyfat – Went from around 12% body fat to 8% – 10%.
  • Best part of the Primal diet is that it is not restrictive – Bacon smells awesome for a reason. Or what about when someone fires up the grill during a summer evening, makes you crave steak and chicken. Medium rare grass-fed ribeye, with grilled asparagus does not sound like a bad meal.

What about choosing you diet based on Ethics? – The only way to be “ethical” about food is to eat locally for sustainable “farms” period!!! Being a vegetarian or vegan does not mean you are more ethical. Just read an article about how quinoa (a vegan staple) has now driven the price up so that the local South American people can no longer afford their own staple crop! Locally grown animals and crops are the most ethical way to eat!

Stop eating:

Wheat (yes even whole wheat) and Grains:

  • All breads, pasta, cookies, cakes, cereal, etc
  • Grains – Oatmeal, barley, etc
  • Beer – I know L but as far as alcohol is concerned beer is the worst offender


  • HFCS (Al Hemmen’s Favorite)
  • Dextrose
  • Corn sugar
  • Fructose (yes I know fruit contains fructose but that is why we eat the “whole” fruit to include the natural fiber
  • Agave Nectar – This is worse than Al’s HFCS
  • Sugar alcohols
  • Stevia – good sugar alternative but we still want to reduce our sugar cravings so reduce the amount of consumption
  • At the end of the day sugar in the most natural form is your best bet – Raw sugar, Raw Honey
  • Vegetable oils – Canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, Margarine


  • Please stop believing this is a healthy dessert. READ THIS!

What to eat:


Meat, veggies, tubers, fruit and nuts:

  • Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish
  • Grass-fed beef, open range pork and chicken, and wild caught fish
  • Central Market, Trader Joes, and Whole Foods are great stores, expensive, but great. Pay for food now or Medications later
  • Farmers Markets are awesome especially in this part of the country!
  • Oils – Cook with Coconut oil (unrefined) and grass-fed butter (Kerry Gold).


  • Dark Chocolate – 70% to 85%
  • Alcohol in moderation
  • Clear liquor
  • Potato Vodka is the best
  • Dark liquor
  • Wine
  • While I am not advocating ice cream – real ice cream with minimal ingredients is much better than “junk” ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Suggested Reading:

  • The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson – This is the first book I read about the primal/paleo diet and it changed my life and it literally changed my life!
  • Omnivore’s Dilemma – A fascinating book about corn, mega mono-crop farms/feedlots, the importance of eating local, and food quality! This is the book that inspired Food INC!
  • The Vegetarian Myth – Quick warning this book has almost as many bad reviews (1-star) on amazon as it does good reviews (5-star). So that means you will probably either love it or hate it. Either way it will make you think about food, especially from the sustainability/ethical argument.
  • Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race,” Discover Magazine, May 1987, pp. 64-66.

Suggested Documentaries:

  • Food INC – Probably the most popular “food” documentary ever. Based on the book Omnivore’s Dilemma.
  • King of Corn – In my opinion this documentary was more shocking and even more impressive than Food INC! You will never look at food/politics the same way!
  • Fat Head – Yes it starts out a little cheesy and it is definitely a low budget film but the “carbs are the enemy” message is outstanding!

Great Websites: – great podcast as well! As I am sure Jessica (she tells everyone) has probably told you, I put butter in my coffee and it is awesome!!!


Body by Vi or Body by CKO?


While this post may offend some people, believe me, it is not the intention but as a fitness professional- I have principles for which I believe, so I am taking a stance on this particular issue. Because…

 If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything – Malcolm X

As a gym owner/fitness professional I have been asked more times than I can count to “promote” certain nutritional products that claim to not only be a new revolutionary healthy supplement that is far superior to anything on the current market but will also make you tons of money. Being the New Year, especially if you are active on Facebook, I am sure you have seen at least a few of your friends making similar claims and trying to recruit anybody and everybody to become “healthy” and “wealthy” in just 90-days. Currently the most popular of these “revolutionary” nutritional products is Body by Vi. I will discuss my issues with Body by Vi.

I have 5-big problems with Body by Vi:

  1. Most importantly the actual quality of the supplements sold through ViSalus (Company name of Body by Vi ) are FAR from being the best on the market. In fact the meal replacement shake sold by ViSalus is not much better than the popular Slim Fast shake you can buy at Walgreens. Sure slim fast has a few more carbs and a few more calories but that is like comparing the quality and health difference between a McDonald’s hamburger and a Burger-king hamburger, can you really say one is a higher quality and a much healthier product then the other? For the record I am not a fan of Slim fast either. While I do use supplements on a regular basis and I have spent the last 6-years doing lots of research and traveling very far down the supplement rabbit hole and I can sincerely say that there are many supplement companies that use much higher quality ingredients, less artificial flavors and colors, less fillers, and much more honest business practices. For a very well done complete nutritional breakdown of Body by Vi products please read this blog (reading this blog is highly recommended if you are curious of the quality of the product). Long story short it is over priced junk that I would feel extremely guilty trying to sell to anybody.
  2. ViSalus products Contain Soy!!! There are two things that I am scared of in this world, spiders and man-boobs and guess what? Soy = man-boobs! As if Man-boobs wasn’t bad enough, soy is aslo just about the worst thing you can eat. It is nearly impossible to find soy that is not genetically modified (about 91% is a GMO) and soy also prevents proper mineral absorption, which leads to a nutrient deficiencies.
  3. The Body by Vi 90-day challenge is an incomplete fitness program teaching you nothing about actual health and fitness
  4. The sales methods are extremely gross!
  5. It takes advantage of people in desperate situations (being overweight and/or wanting to improve your financial situation) by promising a quick solution to your health and wealth problems.

So what exactly is Body by Vi?  I am just going to cut to the chase, Body by Vi  a nutritional supplement company whose business model is basically a pyramid scheme for selling low quality supplements. But of-course pyramid or Ponzi schemes are actually illegal, so the solution is too call your business model something else, so now it’s called it multi-level marketing (MLM). MLM-is basically a business model where you get compensated for both the products you sell and the products sold by the people you recruit. So the idea is you recruit 5 friends,who recruit 5-friends, who then recruit 5 friends and then you are a millionaire. Sounds easy right?

Before you know it the friend of your friends, friends will make you lots of money

How does the Body by Vi 90-day challenge work? Remember from my summary- this so called program (90-day challenge) teaches you nothing about health and fitness all it does is recommend you drink a bunch of meal replacement shakes, eat “protein” cookies, drink energy drinks, take appetite suppressants and take a multivitamin. There is no real talk about exercising or eating real food, just drink highly processed shakes, eat cookies and some how you will magically look like a fitness model, oh and let’s not forget make lots of money, win vacations, and receive cars.

Oh snap! The Hulkster is doing Body bi Vi. I take back everything I said 😉

Can you at least lose weight some on the program? Cutting straight to the chase again, any “weight loss” results are achieved by calorie restriction. The meal replacement shakes the challenge participants use are a just 90-caloires per serving. 90-calories is definitely not equivalent to a meal.  In a nut shell the plan is drink a few 90-calorie shakes through out the day, sallow a few appetite suppressant pills, drink energy drinks (caffeine is another apatite suppressant) when you are feeling run down, have a protein cookie or two as a snack and stay away from any and all real food so your calorie count will remain extremely low and then watch the pounds fly off.

Anybody that has talked to me for more than 5-mins knows that I think calorie restriction is the stupidest way to lose weight. It is not healthy and it is not sustainable!!! When you restrict your calories for an extended period of time your cravings will eventually overcome your willpower! Have you ever ate an entire bag of oreos, an entire gallon of ice cream, or an entire large pizza when you were supposed to be on a diet? Calorie restriction means you are starving yourself slowly and at some point your brain will trick you into binge eating, don’t feel bad if this has happen to you before, your body is designed not to let you die of starvation! So the answer to the question is yes, if you restrict your calories you will lose weight but remember losing weight is different than losing fat!

Well forget about losing weight it is all about the Benjamins anyway.  Sorry to burst your bubble making money in a MLM business model is not as easy as they claim, read the section labeled income levels and criticism

I will give credit where credit is due. If their is one thing Body bi Vi does right it is getting people extremely motivated to change their lives for the better. The masterminds behind Body by Vi are definitely marketing geniuses although if I was a betting man, I would bet that the promise of having enough money to make in rain is probably more of a motivator than actually becoming healthy for most people. Unfortunately most peoples decisions are driven entirely by money even at the expense of their own heath and/or personal relationships.

In just 90-days I will be able to make it rain whenever I want!

Also I want to be clear that I will never discourage anyone who wants to lose weight and become healthy in fact I encourage it, my entire job is teaching people about fitness, nutrition, and obtaining a healthy sustainable lifestyle. I do however want to discourage people when I believe they are getting scammed believing their is some “magic pill” that will produce 6-pack abs with very little effort.

If you want a real challenge do CKO’s 10-week challenge our participants do get real, sustainable results and gain the valuable knowledge needed to live a healthy lifestyle, read thisthis,  this, and this for proof! Next time someone try’s to recruit you for Body by Vi, tell them I have a Body by CKO?

Real Results for Real People- 15 years strong

Real Results for Real People- 15 years strong

10-Week Challenge Melissa Melbourne

Melissa Melbourne participated in CKO Seattle’s the first ever 10-week challenge (September 2012 – November 2012) and while the purpose of the challenge was to “compete” against one’s self, if however, the challenge was a contest where participants competed with each other Melissa would definitely be in the running for biggest transformation! Melissa started at CKO Seattle at the end of July (2012) and her transformation in just 5 short months is one of the best we have seen! Melissa’s story starts a little over two years ago when a broken foot caused her to become inactive thus resulting in weight gain and the associated medical condition that result from being overweight. Melissa’s story is below:

Melissa's transformation over the last 5-months

Melissa’s transformation over the last 5-months

Two years ago at age 36 I weighed 150-lbs and was fairly active participating in Karate on a regular basis. Then unfortunately I broke my foot during a Karate class and was in a cast for 10-months, 8-months of which I could not even walk!  Being inactive for nearly a year, while eating whatever I wanted without even realizing the consequences of what junk food can do to your body I gained 40-lbs of fat, weighing in around 190-lbs! Then once my foot healed up I joined the YMCA hoping to lose all the weight I had just gained over the last 10-months. I tried to push myself at the Y but without a structured fitness plan, positive feedback, and nutritional support the results were basically non-existent. Then just about 5-months ago (right before I joined CKO) I got a wake-up call from the doctor after a health test, telling me I was boarder line diabetic and a candidate for a stroke!! The very next day I decided that I was going to change my food intake and get serious about working out!!

That’s when I found CKO Kickboxing and the amazing people to support my lifelong change. After one class at CKO I knew this gym was the  “real deal” and I immediately signed for one year and then I immediately went back to the YMCA and canceled my membership without thinking twice. After about a month at CKO I was feeling much stronger and much healthier and just about that time the first 10-week challenge started and again I signed up because I wanted my progress to continue. First, let me tell you that signing up for the 10-week challenge was one of the best decisions I have ever made! The challenge was exactly the “push” I needed to take my fitness to the next level! Garett’s knowledge about healthy eating is second to none and he has really made me think twice about what goes into my stomach!!

The result of being in a cast for 10-months and not eating well at all

The result of being in a cast for 10-months and not eating well at all

In the 5-months since joining CKO Kickboxing I have lost 40lbs and 6.5 inches on my waist!!! I would and do recommend CKO to just about everyone I talk too! Also I am not going to lie, it is a great feeling when people say “wow you look great, have you lost weight? What is your secret?” My answer is always the same! CKO IS MY SECRET! CKO has made my life a 100% better in lots of ways; I am healthier, my attitude about food is much better, and  I have improved confidence! I no longer have to SIT ON THE SIDELINES anymore, I am participating in life!! I have already signed both my husband and I up for the next 10-week challenge in January 2013! Let’s do this!!!

I used to eat whatever I wanted without ever thinking about the conquencies

I used to eat whatever I wanted without ever thinking about the consequences. Now I have a new, healthier outlook on how I fuel my body!

I love you guys more then words can express, thanks for saving my life!!


I hope Melissa’s story is as inspiring to you as it is to us! Members like her make our job very rewarding! With that being said I would like encourage everyone to follow in Melissa’s steps and make 2013 the year that you actually stick to your goals! The next 10-week challenge starts January 13, 2013! If you are serious about becoming healthy and much stronger than you could ever imagine, the 10-week challenge is a great place to help “kick start” your new healthier lifestyle. But please do not wait. It has come to my attention that many people want to sign-up but don’t, because they may not be able to make the bootcamp class or that the will be out of town for a week or two during the challenge. Let me say the the stars will never perfectly align or the timing is never right and this is true not only for health and fitness but for life in general. We all are “real people” with families, jobs, bills to pay and pressed for time but if you want something bad enough you will find a way! I guess what I am trying to say is STOP thinking about why you can’t do the challenge and START thinking about why you should do the challenge!!!